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Old 10-06-2009, 10:02 AM
 
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thanks to both of you, it's commonly claimed that Gehenna became the name for the place of everlasting punishment in the intertestamental period and is used in that sense by Christ.

However this claim lacks any evidence, the apocrypha such as Tobit, Sirach, 1-4 Maccabees do not mention it, only 2nd Esdras and 2nd Baruch and maybe other works, written to late after the NT to be of relevance.

Neither Flavius Josephus nor Philo of Alexandria seem to be familiar with that term, so I believe it was after the fall of Jerusalem when Gehenna became the name of hell/purgatory in after-biblical Judaism, I think many Jews have actually been slayed and burned or buried in Gehenna after the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD and that this was what Jesus meant.

There is an interesting prophecy which might refer to Gehenna, do you think this has a deeper meaning if actually Gehenna is meant:

Jeremiah 31:40

And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Pike Road, Alabama
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Originally Posted by steampunkgal View Post
Geenna (gheh'-en-nah) comes from "valley of Hinnom," referring to a valley in Jerusalem. I think that's already been established in this thread. The valley of Hinnom was a place of pagan worship; the followers of Baal would offer up their newborns as sacrifices to their god and burn the children alive.

In Jeremiah 19:6-7 God says that the valley will be called "the valley of slaughter" henceforth, and goes on to declare in the next verses... "And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them. Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee, And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury. Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet:".
If you look at the references to Gehenna in the NT, you will see that the warning was directed toward the Jews. To the Jews of that time, not having a proper burial place was the worst possible thing that could happen to them because, like some of us today, they also thought their physical bodies would be raised out of the dirt to walk around again. In Jesus day, Gehenna was a garbage dump where, along with garbage, criminals were also dumped. The prophecies of Jeremiah and Jesus were fullfilled in 70 AD when the Roman army destroyed not only the people but their temple. Josephus, who was a Jew and did not believe in Christ, gives a very graphic account of the tribulation that occured against the Jewish people when Christ returned in judgment against them exactly as He said He would. Their bodies were piled high in Gehenna when all was accomplished.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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Their bodies were piled high in Gehenna when all was accomplished.
this made me thinking of another aspect, are there maybe any references in Jewish writings (e.g. Josephus) where Gehenna was used in its literal sense i.e. the valley of Hinnom?
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Pike Road, Alabama
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Originally Posted by svenM View Post
this made me thinking of another aspect, are there maybe any references in Jewish writings (e.g. Josephus) where Gehenna was used in its literal sense i.e. the valley of Hinnom?
I'm not sure if the valley itself is referrenced anywhere in his writings...I would assume that it would be in there somewhere since the Jews were called out by God for the practice of sacrificing their children to Molech.
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